William "Billie" Thomas Jr. (March 12, 1931 – October 10, 1980) was an American child actor best remembered for portraying the character of Buckwheat in the Our Gang ( Little Rascals) short films from 1934 until the series' end in 1944. Ross Bagley was a huge little star in the ‘90s. Thomas had a speech impediment as a young child, as did Lee, who became Thomas’ friend both on the set and off. tenure, Thomas’ Buckwheat character was often paired with Eugene “Porky” Lee as a tag-along team of “little kids” rallying against (and often outsmarting) the “big kids,” George “Spanky” McFarland and Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer. The same time he played Buckwheat on The Little Rascals, he started a 48-episode stint on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alongside Will Smith. Thomas remained in Our Gang when the series changed production from Hal Roach Studios to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1938. "[2], Thomas remained in Our Gang for ten years, appearing in all but one of the shorts, Feed 'em and Weep (due to sickness when Philip Hurlic filled in for him), made from Washee Ironee in 1934 through the series' end in 1944. See more ideas about rascal, comedy short films, gang. Though offered many film and stage roles, he had no desire to return to Hollywood as an actor. "[1] However, Thomas still enjoyed the film industry at large, and had a successful career as a film lab technician with the Technicolor corporation. "Buckwheat" "I started when I was three years old. He was a native of Los Angeles . The series aired Saturday mornings on ABC from September 25, 1982 to September 1, 1984. See more ideas about rascal, childhood memories, old tv shows. Thomas is interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California. We have a great online selection at the lowest prices with Fast & Free shipping on many items! Although the character he played was often the subject of controversy in later years for containing elements of the “pickaninny” stereotype, Thomas always defended his work in the series, pointing out that Buckwheat and the rest of the black. The “Buckwheat” and “Porky” characters both became known for their collective garbled dialogue, in particular their catchphrase, “O-tay!” originally uttered by Porky, but soon shared by both characters. Thomas remained in Our Gang when the series changed production from Hal Roach Studios to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1938. Thomas had a speech impediment as a young child, as did Lee, who became Thomas's friend both on the set and off. Despite Thomas being a male, the Buckwheat character remained a female—dressed as a Topsy-esque image of the African-American "pickaninny" stereotype with bowed pigtails, a large hand-me-down sweater and oversized boots. You're not a Patriot anymore: New coach rips Brady debut With Travis Tedford, Bug Hall, Brittany Ashton Holmes, Kevin Jamal Woods. This is an American Film that came out in 1994. 4 months ago. After Stymie’s departure from the series later in 1935, the Buckwheat character slowly morphed into a boy, first referred to definitively as a “he” in 1936’s The Pinch Singer. During the first half of his Our Gang tenure, Thomas’ Buckwheat character was often paired with Eugene “Porky” Lee as a tag-along team of “little kids” rallying against (and often outsmarting) the “big kids,” George “Spanky” McFarland and Carl “Alfalfa” Switzer. By 1940, Thomas had grown out of his speech impediment, and with Lee having been replaced by Robert Blake, Thomas’s Buckwheat character was written as an archetypal black youth. This new costuming—overalls, striped shirt, oversized shoes, and a large unkempt Afro—was retained for the series proper from late 1936’s Pay as You Exit on. "[11], In 1990, the ABC newsmagazine 20/20 aired a segment featuring a man named Bill English, then a grocery bagger in Arizona, who claimed to be the adult Buckwheat. Dec 2, 2015 - Explore Child Stars Photo Gallery's board "Our Gang--Farina, Stymie and Buckwheat", followed by 275 people on Pinterest. Billie ‘Buckwheat’ Thomas in The Little Rascals (1955)/MGM While Buckwheat’s death may have been natural, he perished fairly young. Having been 14 when WWII ended in 1945, +/-9 years before he actually joined the military, it is uncertain why his grave marker says "Reg US Army, World War II". After Stymie's departure from the series later in 1935, the Buckwheat character slowly morphed into a boy, first referred to definitively as a "he" in 1936's The Pinch Singer. Spanky started out as a toddler during the silent and early sound generation of the series, then became the lead character, supported by friends such as Alfalfa, Darla Hood, Froggy, Buckwheat… Characters on The Little Rascals (1994) Stymie; Alfalfa; Uh Huh; Porky; Mr. Welling; George "Spanky" McFarland; Billy "Froggy" Laughlin; Lumberyard Clerk; A.J. Name: William "Billie" Thomas Nickname: Buckwheat Played By: William Thomas Jr. Born: 1931 Relatives: Mandy (mother), Joe (father), Big Shot (brother) Clubs: former member of He-Man Woman-Hater's Club, The Wise Owl Club, The Four Nitengales, former member of All-4-One Club, 1-2-3-Go Safety Society First Short: For Pete's Sake! 100% Cotton Brand New Item Buckwheat Our Gang Little Rascals Character Neon O-Tay Adult T-Shirt Tee Officially Licensed Color: Blue Material: 100% Cotton He took his experience in film work as a spark to learn the trade of film editing and cutting. Get the best deals for buckwheat little rascals at eBay.com. This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for: Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Silent Film Little Rascals Nour Gang Little Rascals Spanky Buckwheat Mickey And Froggy Left To Right Poster Print by (18 x 24) $32.83 $ 32 . The problem is Alfalfa belongs to an anti-girl organization. This is similar to the initial handling of another African American. Directed by Penelope Spheeris. Buckwheat Dressed in white top hat New The Little Rascals Hamilton Collection O1. He was 12 years old when the final Our Gang film, Dancing Romeo, was completed in November 1943. He was a native of Los Angeles. POST COMMENTS AND INTERACT AND HAVE DISCUSSIONS! Ferguson; Waldo; The Rascals; Woim The “Buckwheat” and “Porky” characters both became known for their collective garbled dialogue, in particular their catchphrase, “O-tay!” originally uttered by Porky, but soon shared by both characters. Alfalfa is wooing Darla and his "He-Man-Woman-Hating" friends attempt to sabotage the relationship. Thomas is interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California. William "Billie" Thomas Jr. (March 12, 1931 – October 10, 1980) was an American child actor best remembered for portraying the character of Buckwheat in the Our Gang (Little Rascals) short films from 1934 until the series' end in 1944. and is buckwheat? He was a native of Los Angeles… William Thomas Jr. was born on March 12, 1931, in Los Angeles. Hand color tinted photo of Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Darla & Spanky, The Little Rascals Our Gang. Everyone! The fallout from this incident included the resignation of a 20/20 producer[13] and a negligence lawsuit filed by the son of William Thomas. The Little Rascals was a short-lived animated television series produced by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. Our Gang, also known as The Little Rascals or Hal Roach’s Rascals, was a series of American comedy short films about a group of poor neighborhood children and the adventures they had together. [11] But Thomas's co-star George McFarland, who played "Spanky" in Little Rascals, made it clear that he hated Murphy's imitations. Billie Thomas became “Buckwheat” in the 1935 episode called, Mama’s Little Pirate. "I didn't care for them a bit. CMG helps you navigate through and effectively manage the licensing process, while providing peace of mind that you have addressed all the outstanding clearance concerns. Mr. Murphy did a very poor imitation. Since the character, “Buckwheat” was originally a girl, Hal Roach and the studio must have wanted to keep it that way — even though the new actor for Buckwheat was the boy, Billie Thomas. Thomas died of a heart attack in his Los Angeles apartment on October 10, 1980, 46 years to the day after his mother brought him to audition at the Hal Roach Studios. On November 30, 2012, he died at the age of 62. Thomas was the only cast member to appear in all 52 of the MGM-produced entries and was the only holdover from the Hal Roach era to remain in the series until its end in 1944. He was a native of Los Angeles, California. Despite Thomas being a male, the Buckwheat character remained a female—dressed as a Topsy-esque image of the African-American “pickaninny” stereotype with bowed pigtails, a large hand-me-down sweater and oversized boots. He was 12 years old when the final. The character of Buckwheat in later years became synonymous with the derogatory "pickaninny" stereotype. [5] Later, during the 1950s and 1960s, the NAACP fought against the tired and demeaning racial stereotypes and moved to have the television series ended.[5][6]. Billie Thomas, "Buckwheat" The Little Rascals/ Our Gang Billie Thomas (originally William Thomas, Jr.) (March 12, 1931 – October 10, 1980) was an American child actor best remembered for portraying the character of Buckwheat in the Our Gang (Little Rascals) short films from 1934 until the series' end in 1944. Thomas remained in Our Gang when the series changed production from Hal Roach Studios to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1938. Despite being confronted by McFarland on the television newsmagazine A Current Affair, English, who died four years later at the age of 60, refused to retreat from his claim, maintaining that he had originated the role of Buckwheat, with other actors playing the character only after he had left it. This is similar to the initial handling of another African American Our Gang member, Allen “Farina” Hoskins, who worked in the series during the silent and early sound eras. Thomas remained in Our Gang for 10 years, appearing in all but one of the shorts made from Washee Ironee in 1934 through the series’ end in 1944. Condition: New… $15.00 + shipping . During the first half of his Our Gang tenure, Thomas's Buckwheat character was often paired with Eugene "Porky" Lee as a tag-along team of "little kids" rallying against (and often outsmarting) the "big kids", George "Spanky" McFarland and Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer. Top Searches Holiday Gifts. After returning to civilian life, Thomas faced a dilemma shared by many of his co-stars from Our Gang. This new costuming—overalls, striped shirt, oversized shoes, and a large unkempt Afro—was retained for the series proper from late 1936’s, for 10 years, appearing in all but one of the shorts made from, in 1934 through the series’ end in 1944. Their new adventures begin at an emergency meeting of the "He-Man Womun Haters Club." Despite the change in the Buckwheat character’s gender, Billie Thomas’s androgynous costuming was not changed until his appearance as a runaway slave in the 1936 Our Gang Feature film General Spanky. , was completed in November 1943. Among those honored, on July 31, were fellow Our Gangers George McFarland, Dorothy DeBorba, Tommy Bond, and Joe Cobb. Mel Brooks portrays Mr. Welling, Whoopi Goldberg plays Buckwheat's mother, Daryl Hannah plays Miss Crabtree and Reba McIntire plays … Thomas enlisted in the United States Army in 1954 at the age of 23, and was released from active military service in 1956 decorated with a National Defense Service Medal and a Good Conduct Medal. The film is an adaptation of Hal Roach's Our Gang, a series of short films of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s (many of which were broadcast on television as The Little Rascals) which … Thomas began appearing as “Buckwheat” with 1935’s Mama’s Little Pirate. Billie Thomas first appeared in the 1934 Our Gang shorts, For Pete’s Sake!, The First Round-Up, and Washee Ironee as a background player. William “Billie” Thomas, Jr. (March 12, 1931 – October 10, 1980) was an American child actor best remembered for portraying the character of Buckwheat in the Our Gang (Little Rascals) short films from 1934 until the series’ end in 1944. For a full list, check here. . as a background player. William “Billie” Thomas, Jr. (March 12, 1931 – October 10, 1980) was an American child actor best remembered for portraying the character of Buckwheat in the, short films from 1934 until the series’ end in 1944. O TAY! (black person) a boy or a girl? By 1940, Thomas had grown out of his speech impediment, and with Lee having been replaced by Robert Blake, Thomas’s Buckwheat character was written as an archetypal black youth. The "Buckwheat" and "Porky" characters both became known for their collective garbled dialogue, in particular their catchphrase, "O-tay!" the little rascals, originally known as Our Gang, have stirred up irresistible trouble ever since the short comedies debuted on silent film in 1922. Several days were spent touring famous Hollywood attractions, and then the highlight of the gathering took place in the hotel ballroom. Buckwheat Little Rascals Porcelain Doll 17 inches Tall 1997 Hamilton Collection. Thomas died of a heart attack in his Los Angeles apartment on October 10, 1980, 46 years to the day after his mother brought him to audition at the Hal Roach Studios. Alfalfa has fallen in love with Darla, … They're all here! Thomas first appeared as a background character in Our Gang in 1934. kids were treated as equals to the white kids in the series. CMG Worldwide represents hundreds of celebrities like Dorothy Lamour. ''O TAY'' catchphrase- Buckwheat from the Little Rascals. [1], Despite the change in the Buckwheat character's gender, Billie Thomas's androgynous costuming was not changed until his appearance in the 1936 film Pay as You Exit. During the first half of his. But he continued to play the role as a girl. Despite the change in the Buckwheat character’s gender, Billie Thomas’s androgynous costuming was not changed until his appearance as a runaway slave in the 1936 Our Gang Feature film General Spanky. [3][4] However, the work of Thomas and the other black cast members as actors is credited with helping the cause of race relations by playing alongside white children as equals in a desegregated show during the height of the Jim Crow Era. [14], CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (, "Spanky" McFarland discusses Buckwheat in a 1987 appearance, "The Little Rascals: The Life and Times of Our Gang", "Scholarship Keeps Controversial Image in the Spotlight : Education: Despite criticism, the son of the actor who played Buckwheat sees grant as a way to preserve his father's legacy", His gang Spanky McFarland remembers his long stint as a `Little Rascal'. The Little Rascals is a 1994 American family comedy film produced by Amblin Entertainment, and released by Universal Pictures on August 5, 1994. Billie Thomas (originally William Thomas, Jr.) is best remembered as Buckwheat in the Our Gang (Little Rascals) shorts from 1934 until the series ended in 1943. Trending. In its fourth decade of licensing and clearing intellectual property rights, CMG Worldwide is the recognized leader in its field. Thomas was the only, shorts, and was also the only holdover from the Hal Roach era to remain in the series until its end in 1944. He was a native of Los Angeles, California. The answer to this is Porky. [5] According to Julia Lee, author of Our Gang: A Racial History of The Little Rascals, Thomas and the others were "considered saviors in many ways" by the black community as the most popular black stars in the United States during the 1920s and 1930s. In 1954, the Our Gang shorts, repackaged as The Little Rascals, appeared on television for the first time, introducing a new generation of fans to the antics of America's favorite kiddie comedians. [1] Thomas is buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood.[9]. “After the Army, I wasn't really interested in the hassle of performing," he explained shortly before his death in 1980. Billie Thomas first appeared in the 1934 Our Gang shorts For Pete's Sake!, The First Round-Up, and Washee Ironee as a background player. Billie "Buckwheat" Thomas. [1] In his Classic Movie Guide write-up for the film, Leonard Maltin surmises that "Buckwheat's role as slave in search of a master may displease contemporary audiences. Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Darla, Stymie, Porky, Petey the dog and all of the Little Rascals star in this hilarious heartwarming classic directed by Penelope Spheeris (Wayne's World). He was twelve years old when the final Our Gang film, Dancing Romeo, was completed in November 1943. Aug 6, 2020 - Buckwheat unused, bought in 2010 - - - - - - - - - - - - - Billie Thomas (March 12, 1931 – October 10, 1980) was an American child actor best remembered for portraying the character of Buckwheat in the Our Gang (Little Rascals) short films from 1934 until the series' end in 1944. Feb 21, 2017 - This was one of my favorite shows when I was little. Picture Information. The Little Rascals (1994) cast and crew credits, including actors, actresses, directors, writers and more. Details about Buckwheat Dressed in white top hat New The Little Rascals Hamilton Collection O1. L… The Official Website of William "Buckwheat" Thomas. [12], The next week, 20/20 acknowledged, on-air, that English's claim had been false and apologized for the interview. In 1950, Billy had a son whom he also named William Thomas Jr. William Thomas Jr. the younger, went on to graduate from California State Northridge University in 1975, then in 1992, created the Buckwheat Memorial Scholarship for students at Northridge in his honor. Ross carried his relationship with Will Smith over to the hit action film Independence Day, playing Will’s son.. Ross currently spends his … See more ideas about gang, comedy short films, rascal. In the 2019-set sketch, the Little Rascals character was a contestant on The Masked Singer, dressed as Corn on the Cob. Thomas began appearing as "Buckwheat" with 1935's Mama's Little Pirate. '20/20' Producer Resigns Over Buckwheat Interview. Eddie Murphy performed a series of Buckwheat sketches on Saturday Night Live during the 1980s when he was a cast member. The reason for the change in appearance was so he could portray, in the 1936 Our Gang feature film General Spanky, a five-year-old slave asking men on a riverboat and, subsequently, shoeshine boy Spanky, "You be my master?". Buckwheat of The Little Rascals the culturegeist. The “Buckwheat” character was a female at this time, portrayed by Our Gang kid Matthew “Stymie” Beard’s younger sister Carlena in. … Perhaps the most familiar Little Rascals character was Spanky McFarland, who literally grew up on camera during the run of the series. A member of the Little Rascals from 1934-1944. He made Buckwheat into a stereotype that he wasn't, at the expense of the people in his family who are still alive. The “Buckwheat” character was originally a female, portrayed by Matthew “Stymie” Beard’s younger sister, Carlena. Buckwheat's character is played in the film by Ross Bagley and Uh-Huh is played by Courtland Mead. [1][7][8], On October 10, 1980, ten weeks after his July 31 appearance at the Hilton, Thomas died of a heart attack in his Los Angeles apartment at the age of 49, forty-six years to the day after his mother brought him to audition at the Hal Roach Studios. Buckwheat - Little Rascals Collection by Steffannie Mashelle Phillips. There are a lot of people who loved The Little Rascals. During the series' sec… Oct 25, 2016 - Explore Kimberli Barthelette's board "Buckwheat otay/lil rascals", followed by 122 people on Pinterest. Thomas began appearing as “Buckwheat” with 1935’s, . When Thomas was brought out, he received a spontaneous standing ovation, and was moved to tears. 191 likes. The Rascal revival was on, and it continues this day. English's appearance prompted public objections from McFarland, who contacted media outlets following the broadcast to inform them that the true Buckwheat had been dead for ten years. originally uttered by Porky, but soon used by both characters.[1]. [1], At "Hollywood 80", the second annual meeting of The Sons of the Desert, from July 30 to August 3, 1980, more than 500 fans gathered at the Los Angeles Hilton Hotel. After Stymie’s departure from the series later in 1935, the Buckwheat character slowly morphed into a boy, first referred to definitively as a “he” in 1936’s, . 1 Second Stimulus … William “Billie” Thomas, Jr. (March 12, 1931 – October 10, 1980) was an American child actor best remembered for portraying the character of Buckwheat in the Our Gang (Little Rascals) short films from 1934 until the series’ end in 1944. , and by Willie Mae Walton in three other shorts. Thomas had a speech impediment as a young child, as did Lee, who became Thomas’ friend both on the set and off. Although the character he played was often the subject of controversy in later years for containing elements of the “pickaninny” stereotype, Thomas always defended his work in the series, pointing out that Buckwheat and the rest of the black Our Gang kids were treated as equals to the white kids in the series. The half-hour series aired as part of an umbrella package conisisting of two other Hanna-Barbera cartoons. Item Information. Although the character he played was often … Alfalfa's love interest, Darla, is played by Brittany Ashton Holmes. My mother just took me out to the studio on a regular interview day, and they needed a person, and that was it." Alfalfa, the main character, started to like Darla, who is his schoolmate. Despite Thomas being a male, the Buckwheat character remained a female—dressed as a Topsy-esque image of the African-American “pickaninny” stereotype with bowed pigtails, a large hand-me-down sweater and oversized boots. It talks about young love that was just cute. Thomas was the only Our Gang cast member to appear in all 52 MGM Our Gang shorts, and was also the only holdover from the Hal Roach era to remain in the series until its end in 1944. This new costuming — overalls, striped shirt, oversized shoes, and a large unkempt Afro — was retained for the series until the end. The Billy "Buckwheat" Thomas Story. Thomas first appeared in the 1934 Our Gang shorts as a background player. During the series' first season, it aired with "Pac-Man" and "Richie Rich". He was a native of Los Angeles, California. This is similar to the initial handling of another African-American Our Gang member, Allen "Farina" Hoskins, who worked in the series during the silent and early sound eras. [10] In 2010, he wrote the book "Otay!" The “Buckwheat” character was a female at this time, portrayed by Our Gang kid Matthew “Stymie” Beard’s younger sister Carlena in For Pete’s Sake!, and by Willie Mae Walton in three other shorts. Buckwheat was a wildly popular Eddie Murphy impression based on Billie Thomas' character of the same name in Hal Roach's "Our Gang" shorts of the 1930s and 40s (popularized on television as The Little Rascals). William “Billie” Thomas, Jr. (March 12, 1931 – October 10, 1980) was an American child actor best remembered for portraying the character of Buckwheat in the Our Gang (Little Rascals) short films from 1934 until the series’ end in 1944. "Even the big stars had to chase around and audition; it seemed like a rat race to me, with no security. "Buckwheat actor's son sues ABC over phony", The Sons of the Desert Convention/Our Gang Reunion, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Billie_%22Buckwheat%22_Thomas&oldid=992470132, Turner Classic Movies person ID same as Wikidata, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 5 December 2020, at 12:44. By 1940, Thomas had grown out of his speech impediment, and with Lee having been replaced by Robert Blake, Thomas's Buckwheat character was written as an archetypal black youth. ... Collectible Movie & TV Character Bobbleheads (1970-Now) Collectible Celebrity Bobbleheads (1970-Now) ... New Listing Harrahs Little Rascals Buckwheat Bobblehead … The "Buckwheat" character was a female at this time, portrayed by Our Gang kid Matthew "Stymie" Beard's younger sister Carlena in For Pete's Sake!, and by Willie Mae Walton in three other shorts. 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